Authorities issue tips to stay safe from projected extreme weather

With projected snowfall between 7- to 14-inches, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the area until 6 p.m. Monday, which prompted closures of all area schools on Sunday.

The National Weather Service said snow will develop across the area Sunday night and continue through Monday morning.

“The snow will be heavy at times after midnight through Monday morning,” the Weather Service states, adding gusty winds will cause blowing and drifting of snow at times.

Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible tonight into early Monday morning, the Weather Service reports.

“Travel will become very difficult to impossible late tonight into Monday morning. Significant impacts to the Monday morning commute are expected. Lingering impacts to the Monday evening commute are possible.”

The following schools, meanwhile, have announced closures on Sunday:
Bristol Grade School
Brighton # 1 School District
Westosha Central High School
Twin Lakes No. 4 – Lakewood
Randall Consolidated School District
Paris Jt. 1 School District
Salem School District
Silver Lake-Salem Joint #1 School District
Wheatland Center School
Wilmot Union High School
Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated School
Westosha Head Start

Following the storm, the National Weather Service expects extremely cold air will arrive into the area, bringing wind chill factors of 35 below zero from Tuesday through Thursday night.

Meanwhile, authorities have issued tips for residents to stay throughout the week, including Bristol Fire and Rescue.

On Sunday, Bristol Fire and Rescue issued the following reminders from its Facebook page:

• If you MUST travel during forecasted periods of wintry precipitation, allow sufficient time to get to your destination, provide for adequate stopping distances and maintain a means of communicating if you do encounter an emergency involving yourself or someone else. As always, stay off of your phone while driving and pack additional blankets, clothing, a snow shovel, salt, and jumper cables. Keep your distance from snowplows, snow removal equipment and vehicles disbursing salt or other road treatments.

• If you see a roadside incident, please slow down and move over. We have refrained from reporting on several very recent near misses while operating on area roads – some of which have been covered by local media – but our greatest wish is to go home to our families. The extra few seconds that it takes to decelerate and move clear of affected lanes greatly mitigates the risk of severe injury or death to our crews and the citizens that we are working to assist.

• Keep fire hydrants clear of snow. Not all areas within the Village of Bristol are hydranted, and a fire-related incident may require use of a hydrant to provide a source for tenders/tankers shuttling water to a working scene.

• Ensure the proper installation and function of working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – specifically ensuring that carbon monoxide detectors are present if you have gas or wood burning appliances and/or an attached garage. Ensure that all home and business occupants know the expected meeting location after evacuating in case of a fire.

• Keep appliance intakes and exhausts/vents clear of snow. Blockages may result in the build-up of carbon monoxide and other dangerous gasses within a structure. Again, this is where the carbon monoxide detectors come into play.

• Check on your neighbors, family and friends – particularly the elderly and those limited in mobility. Verify their well-being and, if they do not respond, do not hesitate to call for a welfare check.

• Ensure that fireplaces and stoves are properly cleaned and vented before putting into operation. Ensure that an appropriate, metallic container with a tight fitting lid for disposing of hot fuels (embers, ashes, etc.) is available outside of your home and business and several feet from the structure.

• If using space/portable heaters, keep several feet from any combustible materials and in locations not accessible to small children or pets. Never provide power to a space heater with an extension cord or power strip – use only manufacturer-recommended means of power supply.

• Maintain accountability with anyone venturing outdoors as well as anyone with any form of impairment (clinical or induced). The brutal cold that is coming is capable of inflicting serious injury or death within just minutes, and hypothermia can further alter consciousness and awareness.

• Exercise extreme caution when using candles and ensure that they are well clear of any combustible materials and out of reach of children and pets.


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